Better indoor climate, increased security, open every day of the year – there are many things about Liljevalchs+ that please art gallery manager Mårten Castenfors.
To make a long story short... In the autumn of 2008, we sat at Liljevalchs and studied old floor plans of our house and surrounding area. On one of these drawings there was a clear plan marking that in the worn parking lot at the back of the house there were visions in 1918 for "studios and homes" linked to Liljevalchs.
This was the starting signal for our upcoming extension, which will be completed in the summer of 2021. But building houses, as you know, takes time.
The City of Stockholm, which is the main author of the project, first announced an international competition in 2013 and the winner in it was Wingårdh Arkitektkontor in collaboration with the artist Ingegerd Råman. It was then also decided that "old" dear Liljevalchs would undergo an extensive renovation with basic reinforcement, new floors and new toilet package, and that the restaurant Blå Porten, after all the rules of art, would be restored to ancient glory.
Through these renovations, the City of Stockholm took responsibility for the city's treasures – something that was also absolutely necessary because the city's auditors had already warned in 1936 that Liljevalchs – Sweden's first concrete house – was breaking down. The renovation of Liljevalchs was completed in 2018, but Blå Porten's renovation has been delayed several times.
In parallel with the renovation, work is underway on the liljevalchs +extension, which is almost to be described as a "work of art for art". The house itself is in cast concrete with glass bottoms as a façade motif and everything has been crowned by 166 lanterns. In the two upper halls, the ceiling height changes from 6 to 3.5 meters, the floors are in solid pine and the walls flexible in plaster. The feeling in these halls should be like entering Malmö Konsthall, once designed by Klas Anselm – that is, a pure pleasure. Under these halls there are three more halls: one dark for digital art, one with windows facing the square area for smaller presentations and finally a hall in the basement that can serve as both seminar room and exhibition room. In addition to exhibition opportunities, there is a chance to directly step in from Falkenbergsgatan to a new store, as well as to a café/restaurant that is directly connected to the classic Blue Gate.
With the extension we will solve a number of problems that exist in our current beautiful house designed by Carl Bergsten. We get absolute security and a perfect climate. With the extension, Liljevalchs can in the future receive everything from the Mona Lisa to Vårsalongen and we can exchange large and small exhibitions, as well as stay open seven days a week all year round.
Well met in the summer of 2021!
Mårten Castenfors Manager Liljevalchs